As an Airbnb host, it’s important for you to understand your local laws. We provide a platform and marketplace, but we don’t provide legal advice. Even so, we want to share some info to help you understand laws and other rules that relate to short term rentals in Columbus, OH. The information in this article isn’t exhaustive, but it should help you start your research on local laws. If you have questions, you can contact the Department of Public Safety, or another local authority, such as a local lawyer or tax professional.
Short-term rental regulations
Update: Due to the Mayor’s State of Emergency which began late March 18, 2020, any licenses that expire during the emergency will be granted an extension of 14 days after the State of Emergency has been lifted. Find out more.
Anyone who hosts short-term stays (fewer than 30 nights at a time) in Columbus needs a short-term rental permit–you can apply in person at the Department of Public Safety in Columbus. For more information, see the city’s short-term rental website.
A few listing types are exempt from registering as short-term rentals:
- Hotels or motels: Do not need to register as a short-term rental, but are required to have a valid hotel/motel license
- Long-term stay listings: Do not need to register if you only host for 30+ nights at a time
Step 1: Register your listing
You can register as a short-term rental operator in person at the Department of Public Safety in Columbus. When you apply, you will first need to apply and complete a BCI background check for $30, provide the appropriate documentation, and you’ll receive your permit number the same day. The application fee is $20 and the permit cost is $75 if you host your primary residence, or $150 if you host a non-primary residence (like a vacation home or second home). Permits are good for each calendar year, and will then need to be renewed.
As an Airbnb host, you won’t need to provide a background check or proof of general liability insurance because we’ve covered those things on your behalf.
What you’ll need to register
- BCI background check
- Short-term rental application
- Proof of identity
- Two proofs of residency if you’re registering a primary residence:
- Motor vehicle registration
- Tax documents
- Lease copy
- Utility bill
- Proof or documentation of ownership if you’re registering a secondary residence
- Names and addresses of any other hotel, motel, or short-term rental in Columbus that you have any interest in, including but not limited to ownership, licensure, or management
- A notarized affidavit including confirmation that you and your listing are in compliance with all applicable local, state, and federal laws and regulations (a notarized application affirming compliance is sufficient to meet this requirement)
- Note: Notaries will be onsite to assist with this part of your application
- Tax information or consent for the Columbus Tax Department to share tax information with the Licensing Section.
Step 2: Add your registration number to your listing
Once you receive a registration number from the city, add it to your listing page to complete the process.
Building and housing standards
Columbus enforces rules and regulations that specify minimum construction, design, maintenance standards, habitability, health, and safety. Certain regulations applicable to residential and non-residential uses may be relevant to your listing.
Other contracts and rules
As a host, you need to understand and abide by other contracts or rules that bind you, including leases, co-op rules, HOA rules, or other rules established by tenant organizations. You should be able to find out more by contacting your housing authority (such as a community council) or landlord. Your lease (or other contract) might also have specific details.
Our commitment to your community
We are committed to working with local officials to clarify how local rules impact the short-term rental community.